IFC promotes inclusive growth in South Asia by improving infrastructure and financial services, and by supporting the expansion of smaller businesses.
IFC makes strategic investments and advisory interventions across India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives, to promote inclusive growth, help address climate change impacts, and encourage global and regional integration.
In fiscal year 2018, we provided $3.4 billion in financing for businesses in South Asia, including $1.3 billion mobilized from other investors. Our clients distributed gas to about 1.1 million customers, provided more than 590,000 jobs, and created opportunities for more than 1.6 million farmers.
Infrastructure and Energy
Close to 500 million people across South Asia are not connected to the grid. IFC is working to improve critical infrastructure and invest in clean energy solutions that also enable better regional integration.
IFC has launched two large offshore and onshore programs in India, mobilizing international capital markets to support infrastructure development. We are deepening capital markets for other countries including Bangladesh and introducing thematic bonds in the region.
Bangladesh’s garment sector accounts for 20 percent of the country’s GDP and employs over 4 million people. IFC is helping facilitate investments, improve construction and fire safety, labor and environmental standards, and establish the conditions for it to grow in a sustainable way.
Jobs and Entrepreneurship
Every month, one million people enter South Asia’s work force. IFC’s investments in financial institutions supports small and medium enterprises and help build skills through our knowledge tools such as the Business Edge and the SME Toolkit.
South Asia has one of the largest economic gender gaps, reflected in low female labor force participation and women’s low access to assets and mobility. IFC’s work on gender in the region focuses on enabling more and better-quality jobs for women, promoting financial inclusion (particularly for women owned SMEs) and expanding digital access and market connections for women entrepreneurs.